21.08.

Nazi flag on the highest peak in Europe (1942)

Nazi flag on the highest peak in Europe (1942)

The operation was called Edelweiss precisely because of its mountainous character.

Soldiers of the German Third Reich managed to set up a flag on the highest peak in Europe – the famous Elbrus in the Caucasus, on August 21, 1942. This 5,642-meter-high peak is actually an extinct volcano, and is located on the border between Europe and Asia.

German troops made the venture as part of an operation to conquer the Caucasus and oil fields near Baku. The operation was called Edelweiss (Croatian: Runolist) precisely because of its mountainous character. The strategic importance of Operation Edelweiss was great because of the oil that could be provided near Baku, which was necessary to launch the German army.

The German troops that carried out the venture belonged to the so-called Gebirgsjäger units. Gebirgsjägers were a kind of mountain commandos and belonged to the most elite German units (along with the famous Fallschirmjägers, ie parachute commandos). They were specific in the sign of eelgrass on the uniforms.

When Adolf Hitler learned that the commanding general in the Caucasus had sent a unit to climb to the top of Elbrus, he was furious at such a futile waste of funds. He called the venture a circus and threatened the commanding general with a military court.

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